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The Label Sector; excerpts from 2012 PRIMIR Research

In past articles we have brought forward excerpts from a 2012 PRIMIR study that Karstedt Partners was commissioned to write titled Packaging: Evaluation of Vertical Markets & Key Applications. This study was unique to many industry studies in that it looked at the force being placed on Brand Owners, the originator of packaging orders.


Why Going It Alone in an M&A Can Mean Going Nowhere at All

Printers are self-reliant by nature. But, the pitfalls of selling a company or buying one without expert assistance should make even the most rugged individualist think twice.


Can Inkjet Do Direct Mail?

There’s a perception that inkjet can’t do direct mail and achieve the necessary image quality. Is that true?


Content Marketing: Driving Profitable Customer Actions (Premium Content)

Most print service providers are serving the business-to-business market space. These B2B marketers need to target specific audiences with significant sales cycles and price preferences. This article discusses how service providers are evaluating content marketing in their go-to-market strategies.


Wide-Format Gets Bigger (Will You?)

I’m currently in my 22nd year serving the specialty graphics industry. During my time with SGIA, I’ve been witness to the complete changeover in imaging equipment technology.


Challenge: Attracting, Recruiting and Hiring Talented Employees

The challenge of attracting, recruiting, hiring and the on-boarding of talented employees continues to be high on the priority list. How we determine who the most talented candidates are, where we find them, engage them and motivate them to seriously consider our industry for their career path requires a well-executed strategy. And as the workforce transitions from the Baby Boomer generation this process is becoming even more complex.


Make Great Software Decisions

We collectively make a lot of poor software decisions, according to my very bias and unscientific research we make way more mistakes in this area than we do with other business decisions. What is it about technology that causes a collective brain freeze when it comes to making good decisions?


HP Indigo 10000: An Early Look at Installs (Premium Content)

The HP Indigo 10000 B2 press caused a bit of a stir at drupa 2012. Now, more than a year later, the first sold units are making their way into the marketplace. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne takes a look at two very different installs to see how this new press is fitting in and the impact it might be having on conventional printing technologies.


Conversation with Dscoop Global Executive Director Mike Fogarty (Premium Content)

Dscoop, the Digital Solutions Cooperative, recently appointed Mike Fogarty as its new Global Executive Director to replace long-time Executive Director Eric Hawkinson, now at Canon. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Fogarty to learn more about why he joined the organization and what he expects to achieve there.


Snyder Printer: Meeting the Challenge of Change (Premium Content)

In a rapidly changing industry, traditional printers must view the dynamics surrounding the offset-to-digital transition and new media as opportunities for much-needed growth. This article provides an overview of how Snyder Printer, Inc. leveraged digital color technology to improve its market opportunities.


Printer’s Marketing Efforts: The Untold Story (Premium Content)

For many years I cringed every time I heard someone in the print industry say, “printers need to become marketing service providers.” My initial reaction was always, are you kidding me?


Delphax Elan: An Update (Premium Content)

With Print 2013 rapidly approaching, ‘tis the season for product updates, many of which were shown as technology demos or prototypes at drupa 2012. Delphax Elan is one of those products. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne speaks with Delphax CEO Dieter Schilling to see what’s new.


Strategizing the Acquisition: A Road Map for Buyers

Today, for many printers, “growth” means “growth by acquisition.” In strategizing a deal to buy another company, purchase price is not the first thing to focus on.


The State of Thermal Transfer and Digital Printing

Heat transfers may not be one of the more obvious uses for digital printing, but for years the innovative companies have been successfully building up a market in a variety of ways.


Expectations are High for Xerox CiPress Coming on Stream at R. E. Gilmore Corporation

At R.E. Gilmore Corporation, the Xerox CiPress will hit the ground running in an environment where high-volume digital printing is both a specialty and an everyday routine.


Large Format Plays at PIP Printing in Peoria (Premium Content)

Signage and wide format graphics have become an integral part of the marketing mix. This article highlights recent InfoTrends research and also explores how PIP Printing (Peoria, IL) is leveraging wide format to expand its own business opportunities.


The Continuous-Feed Inkjet Production Market—2013

Now in its fifth full-year since its introduction, the continuous-feed inkjet printer market shows no signs of maturity. There are few other markets in either the printer segment or consumer electronic segments that continue to show growth after five years. This doesn’t mean that the path forward is lined with rose petals.


P&G Adopts PantoneLIVE™ (Premium Content)

With the adoption by Procter & Gamble of PantoneLIVE to better control its iconic library of brand colors throughout the production process, we wondered what that means for the packaging supply chain as a whole. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne talks to Pantone’s Cheryl Johnson to learn more.


AT&T Uses Personalized Video to Explain Mobile Bills

AT&T Mobile now features personalized video explaining bills for new customers or those who change their plans. In addition to reducing the call volume at AT&T call centers (a significant reduction in bill-related calls, according to a company blog), it has a real WOW factor, with almost 80% of recipients watching the video all the way through. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne explains.


HP Pulls Plug on HP Hiflex Management Information System and HP Hiflex Web-to-Print Solutions (Premium Content)

A couple weeks ago, a source informed Senior Editor Cary Sherburne that HP was in the process of pulling the plug on its Hiflex MIS and web-to-print offerings. While there has been no official public announcement from HP, this article summarizes what customers are being told and includes an official statement from HP.


Today’s TransPromo Realities (Premium Content)

Marketers face the challenge of getting their messages out in a way that breaks through the clutter and encourages desired behaviors in recipients. Although TransPromo communications can address this challenge, adoption has been spotty to date. This article uses recent InfoTrends research to discuss the opportunities that TransPromo can bring in today’s market.


HP Continues on Journey to Capture Valuable Wide-Format Application Output

HP may have its share of problems in its overall business, but its maniacal focus on expanding its footprint among existing analog wide-format graphics print applications is not affected. At FESPA, it introduced two new high-volume wide-format printers, its most productive latex and UV-curable ink jet printers to date aimed at expanding HP’s footprint among wide-format analog graphics print applications.


Xeikon Provides Update on Trillium Liquid Toner Technology

On July 10th, Xeikon conducted a web briefing for journalists and industry analysts to provide an update on developments with its Trillium liquid toner technology shown as a technology demonstration at drupa. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne shares some of the highlights.


Effective Negotiation Skills Impact Your Bottom Line (Premium Content)

In business and in our personal lives our ability to negotiate effectively is constantly being tested. Whether we are focused on selling, buying, hiring, team building or any personal relationship, the ability to negotiate always comes into play.


What’s Happening with Envelopes? (Premium Content)

With the recent announcement of a bankruptcy filing by National Envelope, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne took a closer look at the envelope market. Is it a doomed and declining market or are there bright spots that signal a viable market moving forward?


Transforming and Automating Workflows: Solutions for disparate systems?

In this article, David looks at how the existing solution offerings can be used in disparate workflow systems both inside the plant and bridging client workflow systems


xpedx Goes Wide with Series of Summits

WhatTheyThink's Eric Vessels made a short trip from his home in Ohio down to the xpedx headquarters in Cincinnati for one of fourteen Wide Format Summits being put on by the company in 2013. This piece gives his impressions as well as thoughts from those who attended the event.


The East Enders: Report From FESPA London 2013

The DLR (Docklands Light Rail) train wended its way through London’s East End and the Docklands and pulled into the station for London’s ExCel Centre. The conductor announced, “Customs House for the ExCel Centre. If you’re going to FESPA 2013, please alight here.”


Production Inkjet Heads to Scotland

A week or so ago, the news went around that Glasgow, Scotland’s Bell & Bain placed the world’s first order for the Fujifilm Jet Press 540W.


The Pace of Change Around You

I was involved in an RFP-like process recently, the organization made the following statement which I haven’t stopped thinking about since it dropped into my consciousness.


The Pluses and Minuses of Inkjet ROI

There’s no denying how much the inkjet market has changed in the last few years. It has come so far, so fast that it’s probably an appropriate time to step back and ask: Is it a cost effective printing solution? Does it deliver ROI?


Printing Your Future

Recently I had the chance to attend HP’s Print Your Future event, held near the HP inkjet labs in San Diego. The event was hosted by HP’s IHPS division which makes the high speed continuous feed inkjet presses (T2xx, T3xx, T4xx series). I was able to tour the labs and see each of the three press models in operation.


Are You Content-Rich? The Impact on B2B Decision-Making (Premium Content)

In a world where content is king, service providers must assess how they are differentiating their businesses by offering valuable insight to clients and prospects. Service providers have a number of options for delivering content to clients, and this article discusses just a few.


“Then the Bottom Just Dropped Out”: A Glimpse at a Printer’s Ordeal

This unusual letter from a printer speaks volumes about what happened to the industry as a whole during the Great Recession.


The Scale of Inkjet

Sean Smyth of Digital Demand World, the publication for the digital print industry, looks at how the advancing inkjet market is changing to accommodate new technologies


Thoughts from the Smithers Pira Digital Print for Packaging Conference

I had the privilege last week of attending the Smithers Pira Conference in Atlanta on the topic of Digital Printing for Packaging. Having been on the advisory board for the conference it was rewarding to see the fruits of our labor being so well received by those in attendance.


Wide Format Graphics: A Critical Part of the Communications Mix (Premium Content)

Signage is becoming an increasingly important marketing component for attracting on-the-go consumers. Wide format graphics represent a major opportunity for print service providers. This article explores how retailers can use wide format graphics to increase their marketing presence in today’s cross-media world.


The Print 13 Decision and Its Rationale: An Interview with Heidelberg’s Andy Rae

Heidelberg won’t be at Print 13, but the company says it has other means of telling its story and exhibiting its wares. This interview casts light on Heidelberg’s new marketing strategy.


Neenah Paper Leverages Online Presence and Unique Prints for Historical Preservation, Fundraising

Neenah Paper is “running towards new media,” not running from it, with its The Beauty of Engraving and The Beauty of Letterpress sites. They are also leveraging this presence to financially support two worthy causes: preservation of the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum and support for victims of the Moore OK tornado tragedy. Read more.


Why Most Sales Pitches/Presentations Suck

The number one best answer to any question posed by a prospect during the sales process is a clarifying question (hopefully several of them). The two best clarifying questions are, “what business challenge are you trying to solve?” and “how would you define wild success?”


Transforming and Automating Workflows: Packaged Workflow Solutions

David looks at some of the packaged workflow systems that are now being offered, either with hardware products or as standalone solutions. He will look at them as primary support for a device as well as how they work in the context of a broader plant workflow.


Road Trip: A Visit to EFI’s Inkjet Solutions Facility

This is Part I of what will be an occasional series of manufacturer “Experience Center” visits.


Education: Building Your Own University (Premium Content)

With today’s challenging economy and technological advances, graphic communications service providers continually need to reassess what they are doing and how they are doing it. This article provides recommendations on how to set up a “self university” for yourself, while simultaneously building the right infrastructure for your employees.


Ricoh Europe’s Graham Moore Discusses Ipex 2014, Ricoh Customer Engagement Strategies and More

Following Ricoh’s announcement that it would not be participating in Ipex 2014, WhatTheyThink Senior Editor Cary Sherburne reached out to Ricoh Europe’s Graham Moore to learn more about this decision and Ricoh’s overall customer engagement strategy.


Interpersonal Skills Influence Job Performance

It is universally accepted that one’s interpersonal skills will have a direct effect on their ability to interact and get along with others, build critical relationships and function as a productive member of a team. Whether we consider their communication effectiveness or the way they approach and solve problems the soft skills they possess will either inhibit or contribute to their success.


Offline Coating

Successfully integrating digital printing into your manufacturing process requires more than a digital press. Prepress and post press workflow changes and equipment are often required. Most printers have inline coating on their offset presses. Offline coating may be a new area with the addition of digital presses. What is right for you depends on your customer’s needs.


When Sellers Say, ‘Show Me the Money,’ What Should They Expect to See?

Everyone with a printing company to sell dreams of making a deal with full payment in cash at closing. That’s an achievable outcome for some sellers, but not for others. Two case studies provide a helpful dose of realism.


In-Plants Stay Competitive by Responding to Change (Premium Content)

Today’s in-plants are continually re-inventing themselves to remain competitive. This article provides examples of a variety of organizations that are stepping up to today’s challenges by evaluating their offerings and making changes based on customers’ demands and market shifts.


Electronic Billboards in the U.S.: Profit Is the Main Motivator of Growth

Greater revenue utilization and lower labor costs will drive the slow but steady growth of electronic billboards—despite public and government opposition—but print billboards will still account for more than 96% of all billboards by 2015.


A Printer’s Online Infrastructure Investment

Doing business online requires an infrastructure investment. Your business needs to be able to control content, commerce, and customer engagement online from your home base online – your domain.


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